Over the weekend a certain instructor posted a video showing a certain firearm having issues (and that particular brand and type is know for having issues) and decrying the whole platform as unacceptable for anything other than a range toy. Tam does a great job as usual at fisking the whole dustup, but there was something that came out of the back an forth discussions that really got under my skin.
Our “bald shooting instructor with a Brand Name®©™ and a goatee” threw down the gauntlet to the defenders of the ____ that if they took one of his classes and had no mechanical or operator induced errors (specifically related to operation of the mechanical safety). He would refund the cost of the course and pay for their ammo. Now lets take a step back and analyze this. You have an instructor who is there to teach you how to do something with a mechanical device that has many variations in use today. This instructor does not say if you are going to put your hard earned money into learning how to use said mechanical device from him that you should only bring “X, Y, Z models and none that have feature A installed.” Yet his actions show that he is not really interested in teaching a student who pays their hard-earned dollars to take his course how to use feature A consistently, but he’ll take your money and mock your choice on FaceBook/YouTube/MySpace/LiveJournal/Twitter etc.
I have little doubt that there are plenty of folks with quality ____s who could pick up that gauntlet and slap Mr. “bald shooting instructor with a Brand Name®©™ and a goatee” silly with it, but why would they bother to waste their time? Most of the folks in this category are real instructors who will teach a student regardless of what tool they bring to class and won’t disparage their choice of tool unless it is of a brand known to have issues. Even then the instructor isn’t likely to make the student feel foolish, the instructor offers constructive solutions to the issue and will often loan them a tool from their own collection so they can learn the lessons taught in class rather than fight with something that doesn’t work and learn nothing. Furthermore, if a student has issues working with feature A a real instructor won’t say “get something without feature A” they are more likely say “Here is how you can ensure you reliably operate feature A, or you may want to consider a tool without feature A. Your choice.”
I really feel that Mr. “bald shooting instructor with a Brand Name®©™ and a goatee” is very capable of making meaningful contributions to the shooting and training communities. However, in light of this incident I think that he really needs to clarify what his Brand Name®©™ is geared for and what kind of tools he expects you to bring to one of his classes. I don’t think “defensive use of a firearm” should be used to describe a course when what he really means is “defensive use of firearm brand/type _____ without these optional factory features installed.” Personally, unless I was a fanboy of firearm brand/type _____ without that optional factory features installed I would just look for a different instructor.
Allegedly the shooter in the video was loaned a gun on day two to finish the course. Unknown if said gun came with or without feature A. Also if you read the comments at the link you will see Tam’s point proven.